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Martin Bashir

News/Business. Journalist Martin Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.

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Us 18, Romney 9, America 8, Obama 8, China 7, Mr. Romney 7, Rick Santorum 6, Ohio 6, Washington 5, Paul Ryan 5, Anna Marie 4, Mitt Romney 4, U.s. 4, Purina 3, Humana 3, Luke 3, Barack Obama 3, Msnbc 3, Nbc 3, Jonathan Capehart 2,
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  MSNBC    Martin Bashir    News/Business. Journalist Martin  
   Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.  

    September 17, 2012
    1:00 - 1:59pm PDT  

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fun. >> i understand language grows. i love that. organ k growth is exciting but this is growth. just like your girlfriend experienced growth when she went to that doctor in beverly hills and jumped from an "a" to a "c." the dictionary is filled with awesome words, use them. that does it for "the cycle." martin, don't smoosh. >> i wouldn't do that. it's monday, september 17th, and something is rotten in the romney campaign. a manic monday for mitt. >> i thought the most damning quote in the politico fees was what the romney campaign most desperately needs a guy to come from from bain. >> republicans are baffle romney hasn't a better organized campaign. >> has there been a single ad on anything about what mitt romney would actually do as president apart from he promises to --
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>> if we put those in place we'll add 12 million jobs. >> what does mitt wear to job? >> i think the best answer is as little as possible. >> don't panic just yet, at lease you have this guy. >> okay. and why now are you supporting mitt? >> what is your question? >> why are you supporting mitt romney? >> it's actually a funny story. i lost a basketball game. ♪ >> we begin this afternoon with a flurry of activity on the campaign trail. as you might expect, with just 50 days left until the election and with early voting already under way in the key state of north carolina, mitt romney has just wrapped up an event in los angeles. the president is scheduled to speak shortly in ohio, while the vice president and the man who wants his job are dueling it out
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in iowa this very hour. it's a busy monday, and time is short, which is why it seems a little odd to start the week with one of the presidential campaigns forced to hit the reset button. that's right. all of mitt romney's soldiers and all of his men are scramb scrambling to put his campaign back together again, and what's their solution to this crisis? well, just listen to romney campaign director ed gillespie in a conference call to reporters this afternoon. >> governor romney and congressman ryan this week making a strong push to highlight some of the specific aspects of the romney plan for a stronger middle class. this push reflects our view that after a successful convention where people learned and voters learned a lot about mitt romney as a person, they're eager to hear more details about policies to turn our economy around. >> yes, we couldn't agree more, more specifics. that's just what we need, but when pressed to offer any new
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details on which loopholes they'd close to make good on their promise to balance the budget, well, there's silence. and he's not alone. here is paul ryan on the loopholes he plans to shutter. >> there are some conservatives that have spoken out saying they want to see more specifics from the romney/ryan team. one thing that comes up is at least from the liberals tax loopholes, naming specific tax -- >> yes, because we want to get it done. >> okay. here is a good rule of thumb. when you hit the reset button, you ought to have it mean something. but it just gets worse because a new behind-the-scenes expose on the politico website has painted a devastating portrait of a romney campaign in disarray and mounting despair. in fact, things are so bad that insiders are joking that the only thing that could save mr. romney would be a consultant from bain capital. but they've already got one of those. so, mr. romney, are you happy with the state of your campaign? it's an awkward question to be
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sure, but one that our colleague, jose diaz, just put to mr. romney in an interview. >> i've got a terrific campaign. my senior campaign people work extraordinarily well together. i work well with them. our campaign is doing well, and, frankly, these process stories take away from what's really of concern to the american people. >> so no changes in your campaign? >> no, i have a good team. >> just a process story meant to divert. that's odd. i thought most of the leaks were actually coming from your own campaign. oh, well. let's get right to our panel, anna marie cox of "the guardian" is with us in washington. chicago tribune clim nis clarence page, and john harwood, cnbc's chief washington correspondent. good afternoon to all of you. anna marie, mitt romney has been running for president for more than six years. today 50 days until the election ed gillespie tells us that he's going to be reinforcing more specifics. that will be the order of the day. but when asked for specifics,
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there's silence. mitt romney says to the electorate, vote for me and i'll tell you my plans after i've been elected. is that right? >> well, they're getting more specific about how specific they're going to be. no, really, they're specific about being specific about what they're going to get specific about. >> and they're very specific about that. >> that's kind of anyone's guess at this point. you know, i think one problem with the romney campaign, they keep hitting this reset button. you know that message you get on computers when you hit reset, all unsaved changes may be lost? i think maybe they're forgetting they hit the reset button, they don't remember they hit the reset button a week ago. for whatever reason they keep going this. while agree with a lot of media critics we get into into process stories, at some point it becomes a story that someone can't manage his own campaign, especially one running as a manager. >> indeed. clarence, this is becoming like a bedroom far ort farce.
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he promises he's the one to change the economy but he hides -- >> that's true. they talk about coming forth with policy discussions but they're not talking about policy. if anybody has made this process story, it's the romney campaign because they're talking about how their earlier emphasis on the economy has not been working. not only has romney been neck and neck with obama, who by all precedents should be maybe ten points behind considering the high unemployment rate right now. obama has been running even or ahead, and now way ahead since the conventions where he got a bump from his con convention an romney did not. they're admitting something is wrong and revealing they don't know what to do about it. >> mitt said the political story was just a process story that diverts from the real issue of the day. the story came from within his campaign. what could the diversion be? divert your attention from our own terrible campaign by leaking
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information about your own terrible campaign? i just don't understand. >> well, i think it's understandable if you consider various people in the campaign seeing that their candidate has fallen behind, they're trying to blame shift and figure out how to avoid getting tagged with responsibility for this. but i've got to say that ultimately everybody has got to look to mitt romney. he's the guy in charge, and if there are contradictions in his campaign like there have been contradictions in his political persona at various points, that's on mitt romney, not necessarily on stewart stevens or whoever is advising this candidate. >> so your view, john, is it's the candidate's fault. >> look, mitt romney is having run as a moderate in massachusetts unsuccessfully for the senate, successfully for governor, having passed a health care plan that's very similar to what president obama has done is now trying to run as the leader of the tea party era republican
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party, and he finds himself torqued way over to a side from where he's been in the past. that's not an easy thing to do. it's not easy to present your plausibly there. that's the challenge he's trying to overcome. specifics isn't really the issue. it's more plausibility that he's got to try to drive home. he has to make the case to americans that he knows what he's doing that will turn around this economy and so far we've seen that -- since the conventions at least he's been losing ground on that. president obama is tied with him on assessments of who could help the economy. >> anna marie, here is a man who is ceo. he's run a business. he's told us he can run a great campaign. he can manage companies. he can manage businesses. i mean, is he managing this? it seems to me if this is evidence of his managerial skills, he made an awful lot of money by duping people because he doesn't seem to be a very good manager to me. >> for a guy who likes firing people, he sure isn't getting rid of the people who seem to be doing him some damage. and i was actually thinking about what a bain consultant
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might do with this campaign? would they outsource the entire campaign to someone more capable like the people running the obama campaign? it boggles the mind. i have to say, martin, i covered carriy in 2004 and mccain in 2008, and this campaign is starting to look really familiar to me. the kinds of stories that are coming out of, it the kind of attitudes i'm seeing from consultants. it starts to feel real familiar right about now. >> do you agree with that, clarence? do you sense a familiarity that, in fact, the dissent, the discord is evidence of a fact it's not a well-run campaign with a difficult candidate at the helm? >> i agree with anna marie, as you usually do. i have been noticing the same thing. the mccain campaign had a real difficulty, as we all know now, in figuring out how to run against barack obama four years ago. and they brought in sarah palin as a real, you know, long hail mary pass, and that didn't work out so well. but i wasn't expecting this to happen with the romney campaign,
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but mitt romney now with stewart stevens, he likes him a lot, i don't think he's going to change him, an being felix and oscar kind of combination actually, but they seem right now to be foundering around the idea of what to do next between now and the big debates. >> john, you were just suggesting that the problem is outside of romney, the shape of the republican party, it's skewing towards the tea party, and that has made mitt romney's life difficult. but isn't it fundamentally mitt romney's failure? this isn't about the republican party. this is his ability to tell his story to the american people. and he just isn't very effective at it. >> well, look, let's stipulate he is behind in the race, but he's not far behind. he could still win the presidency. so let's put that on the table. but i do think he's running in a party that fundamentally isn't about where -- who he is and where he came from.
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it's a different party and he's trying to adapt to that, but, yes, he does have to try to take the economic credentials that he has and make them plausible to the american people so they can look at him and say the next four years are going to be different from the last four. he hasn't been able to meet that test yet, but he's still got seven weeks to go in the campaign and on what my colleagues said a little while ago, i forget whether it was said all happy families are happy in the same way or all unhappy families but all campaigns that are behind tend to resemble each other. >> indeed. thank you all. the president is speaking live in ohio on this very busy day. stay with us. much more ahead. ♪ so in love with you that was fun, right? so do you want that or this?
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protests in the muslim world continue for a seventh day. according to republican talking points, none of these crises would exist if mitt romney were president. yes, mr. romney's foreign policy brain trust has concluded under a president romney the renewed violence in afghanistan and new protests in indonesia simply wouldn't exist. and iran? well, they wouldn't dare anger the great willard, would they? >> if we project weakness, they come. if we are strong, they -- our adversaries will not test us and our allies will respect us.
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>> that follows a senior policy advise mother told "the washington post," quote, there's a pretty compelling story that if you had a president romney, you'd be in a different situation. technically true, i suppose, because mitt romney would place us in a much different situation, one, for instance, where it's difficult to make heads or tails of whether he believes the downfall of hosni mubarak in egypt was a good thing or a bad thing. >> now we have a muslim brotherhood president in mr. morsi in egypt which is outideal for this country. >> joining us from joe courtney of kentucky who sits on the house armed services committee. good afternoon, sir. >> hi, martin. >> as someone who spends a great deal of your time analyzing foreign policy threats, i'd like your opinion on this idea that a president mitt romney would inaugurate a golden age of peace and love between east and west. >> it's a fairy tale.
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it's not even a story. his advisers called it. and, again, his comments that somehow say that the right thing for the u.s. to have done was to stand with mubarak is just breathtaking and against the voices of democracy, quote, unquote, which he satisfied in that telemundo interview. the right thing for this country was so, again, as it did with fascism, communism, you know, even in afghanistan where we liberated women to be able to participate in public life and go to school, we always are on the right side when we side with democracy, and the president had a very tricky tightrope to walk during the riots and the uprising in tahrir square, but at the end of the day standing with hosni mubarak, an 80-year-old corrupt dictator who enriched himself while, you know, and just exposed all his
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people to pure misery was not the right way for this country to go in terms of positioning itself for the 21st century, and this guy -- i mean, his views which are sort of fun to pick apart, sort of debating points, the fact is they're very dangerous in terms of where it positions the u.s. in a fast-changing world. >> he does seem to think that everything went wrong with the election of president obama, but does mr. romney really expect us to believe that the islamic outrage and anger only started under this president? does he not recall in 1983 241 service personnel were killed at a marine barracks in beirut? does he not know ronald reagan was president at that point? >> he's obviously not studied world events or world history. the fact of the matter is the middle east demographically is going through a historic almost bib lickcle shift in terms of a
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new generation that folks of mubarak and dictators in other countries in that region were, again, hopelessly disconnected and out of touch. for the u.s. to continue to describe them as allies, again, was something that would really harm our ability to interact in that region where again we sill have some vital national interests. >> congressman joe courtney of connecticut, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, martin. next, as we go to break, the president is speaking in columbus. >> that's why i'm running for a second term as president of the united states. >> four more years! f four more years! >> hold on a second. hold on a second. i want you to know though because some of you may not have been paying attention at the
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convention because, you know, you were still thinking about michelle and how good she was. [ cheers and applause ] or maybe you're still talking about president clinton and how he broke it down. [ cheers and applause ] well, i want everybody to be clear, the path i'm offering isn't quick or easy. it's going to take more than a few years to deal with all the challenges that we face. but let me tell you something, when i hear the other side talking about how the nation is in decline, i tell them, you must not be getting out much. because this is america. and we've still got the best workers in the world and the best entrepreneurs in the world and the best scientists and researchers in the world and the best colleges and universities in the world, and there's not a country on earth that wouldn't trade places with us right now.
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so i'm confident our problems can be solved. our challenges will be met. the path i offer is harder, but it leads to a better place. because it allows everybody to prosper. anybody who is willing to work hard can get ahead. i'm asking you to choose that future, and i'm asking to you rally around a specific set of goals to create new manufacturing jobs and to strengthen our energy sector and improve education and bring down our deficit and turn the page on a decade of war. that's what i intend to accomplish in the next four years. that's why i'm running for a second term. often for less. that's one smart board. what else does it do, reverse gravity? [ laughs ] [ laughs ] [ whooshing ] tell me about it. why am i not going anywhere?
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this moment the president is making his second appearance of the day in the key battleground state of ohio trav. traveling with the president is nbc correspondent kristin welker. we have just 50 days until the
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election. the president is enjoying a notable lead over mr. romney in ohio, seven points, and, of course, you know better than anyone, no republican has ever won the presidency without winning that very state. >> reporter: you're absolutely right about that. good afternoon, martin. president obama knows that as well. that's why he's here. he is unveiling a new trade complaint against china, essentially accusing china of subsidizing auto parts and autos, which the obama administration is arguing is unfairly impacting the u.s. auto industry. so why now, why here in ohio? i think despite the fact that he has that lead that you just mentioned, martin, the obama campaign is not taking anything for granted right now. as you know, the debates are coming up, that's going to be an opportunity for mitt romney to narrow the gap and both xauns are pouring millions of dollars into negative attack ads in these key battleground states. president obama touting something that really appeals to the voters here in ohio, martin.
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one out of every eight ohioans has a link to the auto industry. so this trade complaint is something that really resonates with them. and, of course, he's also answering the steady stream of criticism he's gotten from mitt romney who has argued he hasn't been tough enough on china. i think president obama is speaking to the folks in ohio, but also speaking to the broader american community of voters and trying to answer those charges that he hasn't been tough enough on china. >> and the president also made the point, i believe, earlier today that as far as he's concerned mitt romney is an expert in outsourcing jobs to china, so any kind of critique that romney offers of the president's leadership in relation to china is somewhat moot. >> reporter: well, it's true. there has been a pretty heated back and forth. you're absolutely right. president obama came out and accused romney of outsourcing jobs to china. this is something that he has charged romney with before, but he had a couple new lines today,
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including making the point that he doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk. i have to tell you in cincinnati earlier today, martin, no sooner had the president stepped down from the podium did i have an maim in my inbox from the romney campaign who charge ed this is l too little too late. i think you will continue to see the battle lines drawn over this issue. from the romney campaign, they see an opening here. president obama gets relatively speaking high marks when it comes to foreign policy. so i think the romney campaign trying to get some leverage there when it comes to this issue. >> nbc's white house correspondent kristin welker. thank you. stay with us. the day's "top lines" are coming up. >> why now are you supporting mitt romney? >> what's your question? >> why now are you supporting mitt romney? >> why am i supporting mitt romney? it's actually a funny story. i lost a basketball game to friend of mine. [ female announcer ] born from the naturally sweet monk fruit,
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from the return "snl" on the donald on defense to fox's newest friend, here are today's "top lines." who is ready for prime time? >> it's so great to be back here in ohio. >> it is good to be in ohio. >> our campaign has a secret weapon. >> one of my horses failed to medal at the olympics. >> if we are strong -- >> what i meant was i could do five sit-ups eventually. >> mitt has to do something. >> what does mitt wear to bed? >> really? i think the best answer is as little as possible. >> my wife went in for major heart surgery and mitt romney stopped by to tell us we no longer had health insurance. he had a real bad cold. >> not going to be pleasant. i think everybody knows that. >> for somebody who sells himself as mr. fix it, republicans are baffled mitt
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romney doesn't have a better organized campaign. >> if you say anything bad about obama, they put you on the defensive, are you a racist? everybody who doesn't work is voting for obama. >> do you love cutting edge political satire, then you absolutely can't miss the comedy duo that rocked the republican national convention. >> whomever has the elite smart people on our side. what a snob. >> when friends need to say something to each other, they pick up the phone. >> president obama has thrown allies like israel under the bus. >> you're trying to get me into the american election. >> recent college grad max rice. >> hello, miss usa. it's an honor. >> miss america. >> miss universe in my book. >> you believed in the hope and change. >> huge obama supporter in 2008. i med him in third grade. what's your question? go back and with my parents this summer. back on my own, independent. i'm on national tv. i feel like i'm doing good. >> are you being serious about this interview or not? >> yeah.
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>> i'm not sure you're ready for prime time with this view interview. >> he makes me life. >> karen finney is an msnbc political analyst and trying to stop herself laugh and maria teresa kumar also humorously affected. in new york here is steve, my colleague and the co-host of msnbc's q the cycle." "saturday night live" does a pretty good job of laying out the current temperature of the political campaign and they were hammering mitt romney on all of his unforced errors. is that what's really hurting him or is it really his positions on things like immigration, self-deportation, medicare vouchers, and something like the tax code where he doesn't give us any details? >> i think a lot of the unforced errors and a lot of the problems he has have come from the fact that the details if he actually spelled them out would be politically problematic for him
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and the tax deduction issue is the perfect example. if you want to make the numbers add up or try to show a way that the numbers add up, you have to spell out serious changes to the tax code that are going to affect tens of millions of middle class people in a way that's going to make them at the very least very concerned and suspicious. it puts them in a position where he's on "meet the press" paul ryan is on "this week" on abc and they're cornered on this question and there's no way out. it looks to the casual viewer like a guy in mitt rop and a guy in paul ryan who are stonewalling and that never looks good when you're running for the top office. >> the one area where mitt has a decided advantage over the president in the polls is on question on whether he dli deliberately misleads the voters. look at the statistics. >> as the romney campaign did today when they announced they were going to get more specific
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but when asked some specific questions kind of said, well, no not those specifics. i'm going to give you other specifics. you know, it goes to something that we've talked about time and again. all of these gaffes and missteps and the tax records, all of these things play into this problem that he has had from the beginning when you are a flip-flopper, the narrative becomes people can't trust you, they don't really know where you stand, they don't really know what you would do, and so one of the things time and again i think that's been just astonishing to many of us sort of observing this campaign is the level of just malpractice in not adequately addressing that problem. and the polls show people don't trust him. that's very hard to change in 50 days. >> maria, mitt just finished speaking at the u.s. hispanic chamber of commerce. the president has not just a commanding lead with latino voters but winning three out of four of the female vote along latinos.
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romney's problems begin with immigration but they don't end there, do they? >> no. he also doesn't talk about health care. when you talk about small business, small business purveyors are among them are latinos. when he spoke to the chamber and said he didn't believe in health care and the dream act and he went down the line. small business are the ones that are going to be taking advantage of a lot of the health care that obama was able to champion earlier. but then he also has this whole issue of immigration. he talked about dreamers but he talked about the dreamers as if only they should be eligible only if they're serving in the military. a large portion of folks believe that kids that are valedictorians should get a shot at the american dream. his etch-a-sketch plan is not working. >> to this point, steve, i'd like you to listen to an answer he gave mitt romney on immigration when asked about it in his telemundo interview. listen to this. >> if you're president of the united states, would you keep that plan in place until you
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could get some form of immigration reform? >> well, i'm going to make sure we have a permanent solution. it will overtake anything done on a temporary basis. >> until that would you consider keeping that in place? >> i will keep my focus in getting a permanent solution in place. >> referencing the fact that the president issued the order that the children of law-abiding illegal immigrants should not be deported. he's been asked would you keep that in the period until you're able to pass legislation and he can't answer. >> this is not new. i think what you're running up against here from romney's standpoint is there's in th absolute conviction that strategically they are never going to give barack obama credit for anything. it's always going to be whatever barack obama did is wrong or at the very least not right. that's what you're running into here. the bigger story on this i think is if you can go back to the spring it's hard to remember now, there was a real opening for mitt romney on the immigration issue. he came out of the republican
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primaries taking serious baggage on immigration questions, you had a daunting gap with hispanic voters and you had some disappointment in terms of immigration activists in how they viewed the obama administration and how he had performed for the first three years. marco rubio was going to propose legislatively what barack obama then took and implemented by executive order and it put romney in this position where he was all set to endorse what marco rubio was going to -- >> i think -- >> this also plays into what we were talking about in terms of honest and trustworthinestrustw. the gop has zero credible on the issue of immigration reform. so there again you really have to put forward -- >> karen, you're forgetting the fact that herman cain was promoting the idea of the motor with crocodiles and two electric fences. >> the other thing i would say on this is, in addition to sort of the lack of specifics, this also shows the challenge that he has no trying to appease the far
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right wing in his party and sound like a reasonable person. saying you have a permanent solution is about the best you can come up with without angering one side or the other and that's the tightrope that they're trying to walk between now and election day. >> maria teresa, do you agree with that? >> at the fundamental level the republican party adopted the show me your papers law as their immigration platform. how can romney now back away from that? number two, his inability to answer a straightforward on inl gration, health care, what he's going to do with our tacks is demonstrating he's more of a velcro candidate. everything sticks to him and it's all the bad stuff. >> what a wonderful analogy. karen, maria teresa, and steve, thank you all. next, rick santorum does it again. oh, boy, does he ever. stay with us. >> we will never have the media on our side, ever. we will never have the elite, smart people on our side because they believe they should have the power to tell you what to
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get $100 off select motorola 4g lte smartphones like the droid razr. at the annual values voter summit, we heard an ominous story of how the nation is in peril, how all our institutions are corrupt, and how armageddon will be visited upon the earth unless mitt romney is elected in november. but it took rick santorum to explain the true source of all his and the republican party's trouble. >> we will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country. we will never have the elite, smart people on our side because they believe they should have the power to tell you what to do. so our college and universities, they're not going to be on our side. >> jonathan capehart is an msnbc contributor and an opinion writer or "the washington post." with me here in the studio is
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michael eric dyson, a professor at georgetown university. >> as an educator at the highest order, is it true mr. santorum is right when he says only dumb people are on his side? >> well, martin, let me have a moment of public prayer. dear lord, forgive me for the lie i am about to tell, no, of course not. there are dumb people everywhere, wink, wink. the reality is this, rick santorum is trying to drive a wedge between the american vo voters and president obama by suggesting the elites, the intellectuals are trying to ruin your lives. they don't want you to have a vote or a voice. this is this a ruse that's been played time and time again. look at george w. bush, a hard vard graduate talking about the being against the pointy headed elites.
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>> i'm sorry, the last time i looked, mitt romney had two degrees from harvard. >> two harvard degrees and you're saying the dumb people will only be on our sides ant the smart -- you're denigrating your own people and you're trying to exaggerate the gulf between those who study hard and isn't this the point after all? i'm confused as a minority. they told me get your education, study hard so you can get ahead. as soon as i get an education, study hard and get ahead, you're ahead yus you're an elitist. i don't get it. i'm confused. >> jonathan, rick santorum sounds like a poor, deluded man who sees enemies around every corner. what do you think is causing his deep paranoia? is it the fact, for example, that he was thrashed during the primaries? >> no, it's not that, martin, because he was this way during the campaign, during the primaries. he always came off as a bitter, angry man. paranoid man.
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a man who sees in the dark shadows there's someone who is about to pounce to do something against him and against the people he's a part of. actually, i think he was being -- i'm going to cut him a little slack, just a little bit of slack and say he was being facetious when he said that the smart people aren't on our side because that goes to the general critique, getting back to what professor dyson said, that conservatives have this sort of agreed position for a very long time that pointy-head intellectuals at liberal institutions, which means every college and university -- >> people like you basically. people like you. >> small liberal arts college. >> doesn't make a difference, you're a graduate. >> what he's saying is those people, those liberal elites are against us and our values. the only problem is he's talking to a very narrow slice of the republican party when a majority of the country, the vast middle, would look at rick santorum and say, buddy, you're not talking about us. >> but here is the problem,
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professor dyson, paul ryon spoke at that event. he's the vice presidential candidate. >> right, exactly. >> and that's where rick santorum was speaking. now, mitt romney didn't show his face at the voters summit but he did issue a video. take a listen to this. >> we will uphold the sanctity of life, not abandon or ignore it, and we will defend marriage, not try to redefine it. >> again, mr. romney appears to be suffering from a form of paranoia. who is abandoning life and giving up on marriage? >> my god, it's incredible. you have to demonize your enemy as the person who will attack the institution of marriage, attack the unborn, not be sensitive to the issues conservatives are sensitive to. why can't we all be americans and we disagree with issues, policies, projects, and problems. you have to go to the heart of the matter. you have to say this person is morally corrupt, incapable ethically of running a campaign
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that's upstanding. this is the difference between president obama and mitt romney and ryan. obama says there are good americans. i happen to disagree with them. i think their policies will dead end into a way that will take the country in a wrong direction but i'm not going to demonize them. mitt romney desperately pulling at straws wants to suggest this president wants to take away your life, your livelihood, wreck your institution of marriage. he needs to speak to his fellow republicans whose numbers ain't so hot in that regard and watch more porn and go to more strip clubs than other people -- >> enough of that. jonathan, final word to you to bring it back to the sane universe. thank you very much indeed. jonathan capehart and professor michael eric dyson, thank you both. next, iraq cantor says welcome back to work, boys. now you can go home for two months. nice work if you can get it.
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at this point in our broadcast we were planning to focus on congress' effort to address the many challenges facing this country. but, unfortunately, they won't be hanging around long enough. in fact, majority leader eric cantor told his colleagues that after putting in three more days, they are free to go on a seven-week recess ensuring gridlock until well after the next election. that may explain why a "new york times"/cbs poll found 44% of americans blaming republicans for grade lock while 29% blame democrats. nbc's luke russert is live in washington. luke, will you be planning some overseas trips perhaps to the cayman islands or switzerland, to places mitt romney loves to park his money, or will you be hanging around to see if anybody is going to address the forthcoming fiscal cliff that awaits us? >> it's ironic for congressional reporters. we're not so busy before the collection. we'll be busy after the election during the lame duck.
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you mentioned them not being in session today. we went back through the numbers. frank thorpe, our congressional producer extraordinaire stat boy of congress, and he found out they're only working eight days in september this year. last time in the '08 election they worked 16 days and '04 they worked 14 days. i did the math. this is the earliest release date, september 21st, by about nine days we have seen in recent memory. >> but, luke, when i hear you say eight days, i begin to worry about them. i think that may be too much. seriously. >> any way you slice it and dice it, they are recessing earlier than any congress has in recent memory in this century. >> one member of congress who we are watching live now is the great paul ryan, and as you know, he had a very brief visit back last week. but when he arrived, his budget was sadly eviscerated by other members. i guess he won't be coming back to the house in a hurry, will he? >> there's talk of him coming
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back late they are week. there's one bill on the floor of interest. we caught one of those famous political ad bills and that's a bill put forward by the house republicans to stop the president's welfare waiver practice. now, we all know that was a practice that says -- it's supposed to limit federal con straights, something the republicans have liked ordinarily. this time around they did not like it because they saw it as gutting welfare reform. so we could -- >> you mean, luke, all those lies and misrepresentations, yes. >> quite the traefer scontrover. paul ryan could come back later in the week to vote for that bill as it's something that a lot of republicans are proud of that they will turn it into a political ad. >> nbc's luke russert, thank you, sir, for joining us. >> take care. be well. >> and we'll be right back. ques?
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it's time now to "clear the air." after the events in libya last week and continuing protests across the islamic world, there's been the usual republican rush to blame the president which was started by mitt romney and continued by others. >> what we're watching develop before our eyes today are the direct consequences of this administration's policy of apology and appeasement across the globe. >> one of the simple things that michele bachmann and mitt romney can't seem to understand is the difference between the public and private approaches of this president. in public he's been relational and engaging, seeking dialogue with islamic nations, but in private he's been ruthless and aggressive launching relentless drone strikes and pursuing al qaeda with a zeal that borders on the obsessional. as john kerry said at the convention, ask osama bin laden if he's better off now than four years ago. but mitt romney is not only
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blind to the present, he also seems ignore rabbit of the past. islamic anger and unrest has plagued virtually every president since jimmy carter whether republican or democrat. 241 american servicemen were killed in 1983 when the marine barracks in beirut was bombed and ron 23458d rald reagan was president. al qaeda launched their first attacks on america during the clinton presidency. of course, the horrific attacks of 9/11 came under the presidency of george w. bush. but if you listen to mitt romney, everything that is wrong in the world can be blamed on the current president. as a tactic to win the election, i guess it's the best he can do. as an analysis of world affairs, it is, frankly, pathetic. thanks so much for watching and thanks for staying with us for this hour. chris matthews and "hardball" are next.